by  Oleksii Lopasov

Why PKS Is the VIP of K8s

clock-icon-white  4 min read

The trend to minimize on-premises data center footprints via cloud application migration has led more than 70 percent of organizations to use Kubernetes (K8s) to manage containers, and that number continues to climb.

Deploying and managing multiple Kubernetes clusters across clouds is not easy. It not only requires expertise in automation tools such as kube-admin, kops, or kubespray, but also requires a large amount of DIY scripting, and operational overhead. Ideally, companies should be empowered to deploy, scale, patch, and upgrade all K8s clusters with minimum downtime and as little cluster maintenance and troubleshooting as possible.


When building a cluster in AWS, Azure, or GCP (and GKE on-prem), you have a variety of tools and provider-managed services to choose from that help deploy in less than 15 minutes. However, it is challenging for an organization to ensure that K8s’ management, visibility, and control is consistent with current on-prem standards. On-prem solutions don’t have the advantage of speed and flexibility of infrastructure (virtual and bare-metal) as cloud, as there are few tools made specifically for these enterprise environments. If cloud migration is deemed too expensive, risky, or unprofitable, full control over the entire infrastructure when storing and processing sensitive data can be externalized through providers such as Liquidweb or Rackspace.

With cloud, you have more speed and agility; with on-prem, more control and security.


Many companies hosting workloads on VMware stacks in self-managed servers want to modernize applications and infrastructure with containerization. If cloud migration isn’t possible or preferred, the most effective solution for deploying and managing K8s on-prem—while preserving the ability to migrate later—is Pivotal Container Service, or PKS, from Pivotal.

PKS uses the latest stable OSS distribution of Kubernetes with no proprietary extensions. This properly isolates workloads, secures containers within a single cluster by using network segmentation, and can easily deploys multiple clusters for higher isolation levels.


PKS eases the Day 2 operations burden for container orchestration with built-in HA, monitoring, and automated health checks. Security fixes can be rapidly applied when new vulnerabilities are detected. Powered by BOSH, PKS delivers operational consistency, high stack availability (top to bottom), and dynamic load balancing with NSX-T security included.

Pivotal’s cloud-native platform unleashes software developer productivity, reduces operational cost, and creates an environment for innovation at scale—and PKS empowers deployment-ready Kubernetes.

With PKS, creating a K8s cluster is simple. Once the infrastructure is ready, PKS CLI is installed, and you are logged in as cluster admin, do the following:

pks create-cluster $CLUSTER_NAME \
   --external-hostname $IP_ADDRESS \
   --plan PLAN_NAME


CLUSTER_NAME - Call the cluster as you wish
IP_ADDRESS - Assign the static ip address to access the K8s API
PLAN_NAME - Choose the appropriate plan (Plans are configured during the PKS installation process)

That’s it! The cluster is now being created. After the nodes are deployed and all of the checks are passed, you will have your cluster ready to run applications.


PKS is the ideal solution to operate Kubernetes workloads for multi-cloud enterprises. It simplifies the management of K8s clusters so you can run and manage container applications on private and public cloud environments.

With capabilities including high availability, autoscaling, health-checks, self-healing, and rolling upgrades for K8s clusters, PKS cares for deployments from the infrastructure to the application level. When combined with on-prem VMware stacks, PKS provides all of the advantages of the cloud on-premises while enabling migration to the public cloud when the time is right.

With PKS, companies can host clusters on-premises using internal servers or move them to virtual machines (VMs) with one of the primary cloud providers. Regardless, while using PKS, the K8s cluster management and software development workflows stay unchanged. For these reasons and more, PKS is the MVP of K8s.

SoftServe is a Certified Kubernetes Service Provider with more than 300 K8s experts who have delivered over 100 successful projects over the last three years. SoftServe engineers share their expertise in self-managed K8s clusters with Pivotal via our specialized Solution Offerings, outlined below:

  • PKS Enablement Workshops
  • Container Readiness Assessments
  • PKS Proof of Concept (PoC)
  • PKS Adoption Advisory services

Learn more about K8s optimization with Pivotal’s PKS. Contact SoftServe today.